Caldwell: Crowd influenced ref

Captain Antolin Alcaraz was dismissed for a second bookable offence

after half-time – striker Hugo Rodallega also saw red two minutes

later – while Charles N’Zogbia was denied what the Latics felt was

a clear penalty with the score still goalless. “I wasn’t even

worried he might go off for the [second] challenge, to be honest,”

said Caldwell of Alcaraz’s dismissal after a tackle on Darren

Fletcher. “There were tackles flying in from their side – and I

know I’m biased – that weren’t getting punished, and could possibly

have been bookings. “But I thought it was an honest challenge from

Antolin to get the ball, and although it was a certain foul on

Fletch, which we accept, I just felt the referee could have shown a

bit of leniency. “Maybe the pressure from the crowd and whatever

meant he sent him off.” Caldwell told the Wigan Evening Post: “I

also thought it was a stonewall penalty and I’m certain that if it

had been a Manchester United player it would have been a penalty.

“I said that to the referee at half-time, and he said he felt that

Charlie went down far too easily. “My argument was why would he go

down when he was in such a strong position. “It was such a big

decision that had a bearing on the game, because they got their

first goal within a couple of minutes and all of a sudden we’re 1-0

down at half-time.”